Several new words have entered our day-to-day lexicon - New Normal, Pandemic, Unprecedented, Lockdown, Quarantine, and more. Yet, at most times, we are finding ourselves short of the right words to say. If anyone had told us in March that we'd be staring at over nine weeks of isolation from each other, we’d have never believed that such an eventuality would have come to pass.
And yet, it has.
Firms that once had a communication strategy in place for at least a year found themselves unsure of what to say. On the one hand were businesses in F&B, hospitality and offline commerce that had to ask the tough questions, while on the other were genuinely useful service-providers who could help.
For the former, the challenge of staying relevant was one that they were preparing for over the course of a slow and looming recession. It is safe to say that none of them could have foreseen such a complete, sudden change in priorities across the globe!
Services and businesses in the latter category knew that they had to speak up now, but needed to ensure that they speak in a kind, authentic, and empathetic manner.
At RainKraft, our vast and varied client-base for the communications business brought in a ton of upheaval but also exciting opportunities to explore.
We were, in essence, the voice of the brands we work with. Now, with brand manuals thrown out the window, what would we say?
Happy to report that that’s a challenge we were able to help our clients navigate, and quite successfully at that.
A few cases:
1. The Voice Of An Automation Service Provider
Automation has been steadily appearing in our lives and work for quite some time now. In the current scenario where businesses run at reduced capacity, automating crucial tasks could make the difference between happy customers and disappointed ones.
But for a service provider, it is important to address and allay fears of further job losses precipitated by such a solution.
In this context, we suggested that the best way to stay relevant would be to be completely genuine. This meant not hiding problems away to discuss the benefits alone. It also meant giving people real statistics and numbers to depend on. Therefore, we worked with them on case studies with hard facts, data and insights from top management to weave together a cohesive and compelling story.
2. The Voice Of A Wellness CEO
Once we recovered enough from the initial tumble of a shocking pandemic, it became clear to us that wellness as an industry is set to thrive.
The concept of wellness is not a marketing gimmick but a steady, planned process of reaching for the best version of ourselves. In early 2019, we had helped this very client brand and launch their sales channel. Now, we geared up to give their audience dependable advice.
Our team of writers includes those with decades of experience working in the health and wellness space, which we were able to leverage successfully to create usable social media content.
This exercise reinforced our faith in the fact that ‘shareable’ content is not a product of timing or virality alone- it stems, first, from content that people resonate with.
3. The Voice Of An F&B Outlet
Not all situations are designed for us to leverage- some certainly present us with challenges to overcome.
Working with this F&B client showed us one of marketing’s core principles in action- only a good product/ offering can be marketed successfully. Always keen on putting a smile on their customer’s faces, this F&B outlet in Bengaluru, India, went the extra mile to practice sanitation and hygiene well before any guidelines could be issued.
They significantly cut their menu but soon geared up to provide safe, hygienic food with minimal handling, frequent temperature checks for their staff and reclaiming last-mile delivery safety by training their own staff to handle all local deliveries.
For our part, we ordered food from them and conducted a home-based photoshoot, as well as proposed running a campaign where people could share stories of their experience ordering food from this outlet.
The outlet is now gearing up to relaunch, with safety as top priority.
4. The Voice Of Non-Essentials
Several of our clients struggled with suddenly being termed 'non-essential'. With inventory ready to ship out but gates forcibily closed, it presented serious challenges on what to 'sell' on social media.
Whether it was children's books or jewelry or services that required face-to-face interactions, it was time to go back to the brand basics - asking WHY they exist and sharing that magic with their followers. One business in the employee transportation space used this time to create videos to reach out to all stakeholders, especially employees, and remind them that they are in safe hands.
It was important to keep the engagement with the online community going and staying true to the brand. We've been able to help these brands keep the eyeballs as they waited for the gates to open.
4. The Voice Of Every Business Right Now
We could simply never have imagined that some of us would be caught in pyjamas on a Zoom call, or that we would homeschool our children almost endlessly.
With that in mind, we knew that we had to help our community of followers on Social Media handle this solution with as much grace, and humour, as possible.
Take a look at our Social Media handles (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) to see what we’ve been up to. We daresay these tough times have brought out the funny bone in several of our writers, as you’ll see. :)
What do I say to my staff right now? How do enagage the team? What do the millennial employees need in this context? What exceptions should I make and what’s non-negotiable? All of these concerns, and more, have been addressed on Social Media.
If you’ve got a brave new story to tell, but aren’t sure of what to say, talk to us! We’re on firstname.lastname@example.org